Our People

Deeyah Khan – (Fuuse Founder & CEO). Director & Producer

Documentary director and producer Deeyah Khan has won two Emmys, a BAFTA, an RTS and two Peabody Awards in over a decade of making empathetic and unflinching films which deal with some of the most important and polarising issues confronting the world today; extremism, violence against women, inequality, racism and social exclusion.

Deeyah has filmed with battle-hardened jihadis, members of armed militia groups, American domestic terrorists and white supremacists, with incisive, illuminating and often surprising results. After spending a number of months filming with members of the United States’ largest neo-Nazi organisation, including filming them on their notoriously violent march through Charlottesville in 2017, three high-ranking figures, including the leader, left the movement and rejected its white supremacist ideology. All of them credit their encounters with Deeyah as the catalyst for them to leave the extremist movement.

The Times of London says of her: “She is one of the bravest, most indomitable women… facing down bullies and extremists with intelligence and unflinching spirit”.

Born in Norway to Muslim immigrant parents, Deeyah’s experience of the beauty and the challenges of living between different cultures shapes her creative vision, informing the emotional honesty and humanity which characterises her films.

Released in 2012 Banaz: A Love Story, her first multi-award winning documentary, chronicled the life and death of Banaz Mahmod, a young British Kurdish woman murdered by her family in a so-called honour killing. Deeyah’s second film, the Bafta-nominated Jihad in 2015, involved two years of interviews and filming with Islamic extremists, convicted terrorists and former jihadis.White Right: Meeting the Enemy, in which she interviewed key figures of the American far right, won her a second Emmy award in 2018. More recently, the BAFTA award-winning film America’s War on Abortion saw Deeyah explore one of the most divisive issues in American politics, while Muslim in Trump’s America charted rising Islamophobia and hate crimes against Muslims against a background of political and online hatred and division. The latter film won Deeyah a second Peabody Award.

In 2010 Deeyah founded her media, arts and education company Fuuse, with the aim of creating space for more inclusive and diverse stories; in 2016, she was appointed the first UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Artistic Freedom and Creativity.

Deeyah is increasingly sought after as an advisor and speaker for her unique insights and her skills in listening- and empathy-based approaches to conflict resolution. Her method of building connections across social, racial and personal divides, honed over ten years of film-making on the frontline, aims to deepen understanding through achieving a recognition of our shared humanity, and building a new way of being in the world based upon our inter-connectivity.


Darin Prindle – Producer

Darin Prindle is a two-time Emmy and double Peabody award-winning documentary film producer. He has worked on numerous film projects for the BBC, ITV and CNN. Through his work with Fuuse/films, his primary focus is centered on stories from the margins of society. Two of his most recent films address extremism: one deals with jihadism while the other investigates rising white supremacy in America.

Darin is the founder of Atlanta based Soapbox Studios, and co-owner from 1998 to 2011. A 22 room facility across two locations, Soapbox provided post-production, filming and recording services for clients including CNN, Turner Broadcasting, Universal Records, Sony Records, Oprah Winfrey Network, Cartoon Network, and Columbia Pictures. Artists and projects that have come through their doors include Rihanna, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Gwen Stefani, Katie Perry, Ludacris, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Alicia Keyes, and Fergie.

Darin is also the owner of Cohere Media, founded in 2012 which provides broadcast services specializing in final delivery services for colour grading, audio mixing and motion graphics. Recent projects include America’s War on Abortion, Muslim in Trump’s America, CNN’s History of Comedy, Archer, White Right: Meeting The Enemy, Jihad: A Story Of The Others, BBC4 Specialist Factual programs including POP! The Science of Bubbles, The Fantastical World of Hormones with Professor John Wass, The Secrets of Quantum Physics with Jim Al-Khalili, Einstein’s Nightmare and Let There Be Life.

Prior to filmmaking, Darin began his career in music, working with artists including TLC, Madonna, Destiny’s Child, Sinead O’Connor and Cypress Hill.

Jett Mall – Production Manager

Jett Mall is a Production Manager on multiple Emmy and Peabody Award winning documentaries. Having collaborated with Fuuse on creative digital media projects since its inception, he joined full-time in 2016.  Since joining Fuuse, Jett has held the role of Production Manager for its documentary films.

Although his role encompasses developing the films from concept and plan right through to final editing and distribution, Jett’s principal focus and passion is the on-site management of the film shoots. The Fuuse operation relies on his expert and diligent management of the production schedules and filming program, call sheets and shoot schedules, location scouting, cast-member and contributor engagement and on-site liaison.

Jett considers himself both fortunate and proud to be a committed contributor to the essential, extraordinary and inspiring human rights mission which drives Deeyah and all of the Fuuse leadership team.

Sverre Pedersen – Head of Production

Sverre Pedersen has been an activist for human rights and the environment as well as against racism since his early teenage years.

He has worked in the film and television industry since 1984. He has directed several short films and music videos, and commissioned films, TV dramas and one feature film. He has primarily worked in documentary film-making. He has produced several documentaries focussing upon nature and culture, cultural heritage, as well as films opposing war and racism and promoting peaceful coexistence between people.

In 2005 he was elected President of the Norwegian Film Makers Association where he worked primarily with film policies, collective bargaining, conflict resolution, copyright, international relations and artistic freedom. He has also been on the board of the Federation of European Screen Directors (FERA) since 2015. After he left the Film Makers Association he worked for two years as Campaign and Advocacy Manager for Freemuse, an international NGO advocating for the freedom of artistic expression and cultural diversity.

Sverre met Deeyah Khan in 2015 and was quickly drawn in as a consultant and in 2022 he joined Fuuse full time as its Head of Production.

Dr. Joanne Payton – Research and Information Officer

Dr. Joanne Payton holds a PhD from the University of Cardiff. Her book Honor and the Political Economy of Marriage was published by Rutgers University Press in 2019. She has also researched and published on topics related to violence against women, suicide and Islam. For over a decade, she was research and information office for the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation, a charity which supports Middle Eastern women living in the UK, and is a recipient of their ‘True Honour’ award.

Dr. Payton has been Fuuse’s primary researcher from the early days of the organisation and has worked on almost all of the films and other projects they have produced. She is a committed feminist and mother of two girls.

Andrew Smith  – Executive Producer

Andrew Smith has worked with Deeyah Khan for the past ten years, acting as executive and editing producer on every one of her films from Banaz: A Love Story to America’s War on Abortion. He also acts as adviser to Fuuse’s educational outreach activities. Andrew is an award-winning director in his own right and has spent more than 25 years making BBC and Channel 4 documentaries about human rights, international development and conflict/conflict resolution in countries such as Kosovo, Iraq, Romania, Ukraine, Ghana, Senegal and India. He has also made history documentaries with Prof. Bettany Hughes, a series about race and ethics with Angela Saini, and science and philosophy documentaries with Prof Jim Al Khalili, Prof Simon Schaffer and others. He is also a BBC radio and podcast producer, with particular interests in Shakespearean drama and the intersections of art and activism. He has also collaborated directly with arts organisations such as the Belarus Free Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the Birmingham Rep.

Adil Khan – Producer

Born and raised in Norway, of Pakistani and Afghan ancestry, Adil Khan is a critically acclaimed dancer, actor, photographer, artist and television personality. A household name in Norway, his work and his accomplishments personify the core values of Fuuse – a passion for artistic self-expression in all its forms, combined with a dedication to humanitarian activism, a belief that art and media can give a voice to the under-represented, the dispossessed, the overlooked and the undervalued in all our societies.

Adil first catapulted to national fame in 2006 by winning the Norwegian televised dance competition “So You Think You Can Dance”. He then turned to theatre acting, where he rapidly gained enormous criticial respect, becoming the youngest actor ever to be nominated for the prestigious Hedda Award, the Norwegian equivalent of the Tony Awards. After performing a series of lead roles on the national stage, he played the central character in the acclaimed NRK TV series Taxi. The series won Norway’s equivalent of the Emmy for Best Drama Production and earned Adil a nomination for Best Male Actor. Adil has achieved this success in dance, theatre and TV, despite having no formal training of any kind, relying instead on supreme talent, exceptional work ethic and an instinctive genius for creative endeavour.

From the very beginning of his career, Adil has been determined to use his public prominence to help others, standing for positive change in the lives of individuals, especially under-privileged children and young people. He has participated in a variety of campaigns with the Norwegian Directorate for Health and Social Affairs, Unicef and the Red Cross among others.

Starting out as an untrained street dancer, the son of an immigrant family, Adil has overcome many challenges and difficulties in his life. A multi-disciplinary artist, performer and activist, he has become a positive role model for change, and a symbol of the new and bold face of  intercultural  Norway. Ever intent on self-renewal and pushing back the boundaries of what is possible in artistic and popular media, he is now a part of the Fuuse family.

Alice Firebrace – Production Coordinator and Research

Alice has worked in documentary production and research since 2012, as well as in industries including the charity sector and the community sector – reporting on how grass-roots bodies can better seek to influence Scottish Government policy, and with foundations investigating the role of tech innovations on democracy. Her roles have widely sought to encourage meaningful and empowered participation of people in the decisions that affect them, especially with regards to marginalised groups, as well as promoting transparency, fairness and democratic innovation.

Alice holds a Masters degree in Global Environment, Politics and Society from the University of Edinburgh, writing her thesis on environmental and social mechanisms in the participatory spaces of open workshops, going on to participate in international groups to develop future research proposals in the field. Alice brings her background of research, effective financial management and engagement to Fuuse.

Gareth McLean – Development Producer and Writer

Gareth McLean trained as a journalist and began his 20-year career in newspapers on The Scotsman, in his hometown of Edinburgh. He then worked at The Guardian for almost a decade, writing mostly about television, the arts and LGBT issues. There was one magical article in which he combined all three areas of his expertise – an interview, with Liza Minnelli – after which, he figured, it would all be downhill. And so he began to extricate himself from journalism and move into television.

There, Gareth fulfilled a life-long ambition of working on Britain’s oldest and best-loved soap opera, Coronation Street.  Having long understood the magic of storytelling, he was – after two-and-a-half years as a storyliner – now well-versed in its mechanics. Which is handy should it break down.

After a breakdown of his own – Gareth has had mental health issues for as long as he can remember – he found himself on a road of recovery, and also at a crossroads in life. It was then and there that he met Deeyah. Their paths crossing, fortuitously, at a festival, the pair hit it off and Gareth began working with Fuuse. Since then, he has worked on press and publicity for White Right: Meeting The EnemyAmerica’s War on Abortion and Muslim in Trump’s America, placing pieces in The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph, The Evening Standard and The Sunday Post. Deeyah’s writing has appeared in publications as diverse as Grazia Daily, Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter, and Radio Times, and Deeyah herself has graced The Gentlewoman, BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour as well as Broadcasting House, and BBC World Service’s Weekend programme.

As of January 2021, Gareth has moved into development at Fuuse, working with Deeyah to turn embryonic ideas into films of the future.

Gareth also writes his own scripts. His first commission was Queers: Something Borrowed (BBC4 and The Old Vic).  Curated by Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, The League of Gentlemen), Something Borrowed starred Alan Cumming (The Good Wife, Cabaret).

It transpires that Gareth’s ‘writing in the third person’ needs work.

Fuuse collaborators:

Kjell Skyllstad – Senior Project Advisor

GRAPHIC HAVOC – Brand Consultation, Identity Development, Art Direction & Design

Julie Tørrissen – Photography + Videography

Cohere – Production, editing, audio and grading services partner

James Wyllie – Legal & Business Adviser